Whimsical and intriguing at first this one ventually became a drag sorry Elisa Some fun turns and passages but a lot of it had me wondering about translation artifacts I am not ven sure how I came to pick up this book probably a recommendation from someone or other I am also not sure how to describe the book a group of political prisoners willing away their final night on arth by telling the stories of how they became mbroiled in the political struggle having unbeknowing to them a traitor
in their midst and thus unwittingly give up their biggest secret and their midst and thus unwittingly give up their biggest secret and revolution s biggest asset the identity of their leader Then again it could also be that they did know of the prisoner planted in their midst to spy on them that the stories they told were scraps of false information sparsed out in order to divert suspicion from the real leader to someone lse Maybe it was all a big ploy to get rid of a political rival Or maybe they were fooled after all Difficult to say Maybe it is the reader that was fooled halfway through
I was getting impatient with the characters if I had figured out that the rebel leader sharing their cell was getting impatient with the characters if I had figured out that the rebel leader sharing their cell them to tell stories was too good to be true why couldn t they Then again they might have Oh confusing But for whatever reason the book did not thrill me More than a bit obscure Though apparently highly rated this book left me a bit cold Gesualdo Bufalino was Sicilian like other favorites of mine Leonardo Sciascia and Giovanni Verga Night s Lies takes Boccaccio s Decameron as a model But instead of young aristocrats Seductive Surrender (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot, escaping the Black Death in the convenient uarantine of a countrystate outside Florence the narrators are four liberals friends men inspired by the French Revolution who now await the guillotine in prison for sedition They are the baron the soldier the student and the poet They are given a choice by the prison warden Should just one among them give up the name of their leader known only by the code name God the Father they may all go free if no one does off with their heads The prose when not admirably flat as in the arly going can turn bombastic It s in these moments swelling like some heroic tale that I disliked it the most But it s compulsively readable There s something here of the Aeneid perhaps not surprisingly and something of the old chivalric tales which Cervantes so ably parodied The nding is truly a clinic of a jigsaw A literary thriller At 157 pp you can read it in one sitting The place of confinement is an island fortress It is known as an island but ought to be called a rock For it is nothing than a stack of volcanic tufa heaped up into the for. In an island fortress prison four political prisoners sentenced to death for plotting against the. M of an normous snout wearisomely steep in some places but for the most part bare sheer crag The strip of sea between it and the mainland is no wider than a keen ye can traverse None the less to cross it be it through the malice of the winds or of the currents is a hazardous business for vessels and totally beyond the power of any swimmer No one is ver known to have scaped but their remains have been recovered glaired with seaweed and mauled by fish on the rocks of the Black ForelandThe Governor is Consalvo De Ritis nicknamed Sparafucile after the great bass opera role for his fondness for gunfire who rages against the weakness brought on by his illness depicted as a rat which has crawled in through the Governor s The Deepest Sin ear and taken up residence in his brainThe four condemned prisoners are Ingafu a baron hardened malefactor and assassin Saglimbeni self styled poet an imposing adventurer ifver there was one Agesilaos soldierof a circuitous cast of mind delighting in very kind of cavilling argument and Narcissus student seething with mutinous feelings towards any authority whatever These are the Four Evangelists to the Cabal members of the Republican
Directory or the Holy Office which acts as an intermediary between their obscure leader known as God the Father and or the Holy Office which acts as an intermediary between their obscure leader known as God the Father and lowly disciples Apprehended after xploding a bomb in an attempt to kill the King the four are lodged together with another doomed criminal Brother Cirillo A God fearing sanguinary brigandof vast intelligenceand by no means ignoble birth The five are
"sentenced to die "to die dawn by guillotine However the revolutionaries are offered a chance to save their lives will they betray God the Father Brother Cirillo suggests that the four spend the hours before dawn while they are deciding by telling instructive moral stories from their lives in the time honoured fashionIn his story Narcissus saved from the waves the student recalls cross dressers and disguises the second guessing baron takes on the identity of his dead brother the soldierpriest corrupts his fellow orphans and kills his creator while the poet sees the reflection of a bearded cannibal bandit next to his own in a pond Each is a tale of deception double dealing and masksThe literary and philosophical allusions are all apposite the Decameron Byron Pascal George Sand are called upon The tales themselves are reminiscent of Calvino s The Cloven Viscount and The Baron in the Trees but ven so of the illusory and ghastly and remarkable MoravagaineAt the conclusion Cirillo xpresses his disgust rather than a confession or philosophical truth ach man has paraded his weaknesses in a petty self serving. Bourbon monarchy spend their last night before they go to the guillotine As they see the scaffol.